Matchup Analysis & Prediction: Florida State football hosts Louisville
The Florida State football team returns home Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff against conference foe Louisville.
The Cardinals are off to a 2-1 start under new head coach Scott Satterfield. Both teams are looking for their first conference win.
Here's our in-depth look at the position matchups on both sides of the football.
James Blackman is back as Florida State's starting quarterback after serving in a backup role behind Deondre Francois last season. So far through three games, it's been hit or miss. After committing three turnovers in the first two games, the redshirt sophomore was better about protecting the football last week vs. Virginia. However, he was still inconsistent with his accuracy and decision making.
There are plenty of weapons for Blackman to choose from, led by All-ACC receiver Tamorrion Terry. The redshirt sophomore is the Seminoles' home-run threat and leads the unit with eight receiving touchdowns in 2018. With D.J. Matthews back in the mix (he missed last week's game because of a discipline issue), there are a slew of other talented receivers that are capable of contributing in Kendal Briles' fast-paced offense. Those players include veterans Keith Gavin and Ontaria Wilson and a group of second-year receivers -- Tre'shaun Harrison, Jordan Young, Keyshawn Helton, Warren Thompson and D'Marcus Adams.
The tight end trio of Tre' McKitty, Camm McDonald and Gabe Nabers also factors into the passing game, especially in the red zone.
Under the guidance of new defensive coordinator Bryan Brown, Louisville currently ranks No. 43 in pass efficiency defense. This represents a huge improvement for a secondary that finished No. 120 in this category in 2018. However, this drastic improvement could be partially due to a small sample size and the last two opponents -- Western Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky. But credit has to be given to holding Notre Dame and quarterback Ian Book to 193 yards passing and one touchdown.
Redshirt seniors Cornelius Sturghill and Khane Pass, brother of quarterback Jawon Pass, lead the way for the defensive backfield. If there's a weak link, it might be 5-foot-10 sophomore cornerback Chandler Jones. Junior Russ Yeast is also solid in coverage at safety.
Florida State's passing game against the Cardinals' secondary pits strength against strength. One of the lone positives for the Seminoles has been their ability to post above-average numbers passing the football to a deep corps of receivers. However, the inability to protect the passer could negate some of FSU's effectiveness through the air.
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